How to Get Editors' Attention at the SEMA Show

By Della Domingo

Many editors say that the Media Center bins and New Products Showcase are among their top resources for information.

When asked how they find new products at the SEMA Show, editors from leading publications consistently cite the New Products Showcase.
“I find products to feature from the SEMA New Products Showcase and on the SEMA website,” says Johnny Hunkins, editor of Popular Hot Rodding.
Drew Hardin, editor Muscle Car Review, agrees. “At the Show, have examples of new products in the New Products area, and have press materials available in the media room.”
The New Products Showcase provides editors with a quick overview of the products that are featured at the Show. The Showcase includes a category for previously introduced products, as well as one for all-new products, making it available and relevant to every SEMA Show exhibitor. There is no cost for the first product category submission, provided that the submission is entered before the early registration deadline and received online.
As an added benefit, all products in the Showcase are shot by professional photographers in a studio setting. The images are provided to media throughout the year. However, exhibitors may also obtain the professional, studio-quality images for their marketing and PR use.
Other ways to attract editors' attention and increase media coverage include:

  • Post press releases on the SEMA Show website. The online press center serves as the single, primary location for media to obtain Show news and information.
  • Place press materials in the available Media Center bins. Many editors say that the bins are among their top resources for information.
  • At the Show, have new products displayed in your booth. While you also want to have your products in the New Products Showcase, you don’t want to request that media go look for your product.
  • Have press release materials ready when the media show up in your booth. Don’t forget to alert all booth staff as to where the press materials are located so that if the marketing/PR people are unavailable, someone can hand the press materials to the reporter without asking him/her to come back later.
  • Consider putting your press materials on a USB drive. Editors overwhelmingly noted that USB drives are ideal because they are small enough to fit in one’s pocket and allow them to begin working on their stories immediately after the Show.
  • Don’t ignore the media at your booth. One editor notes that a common mistake he sees exhibitors make is letting key product people leave the booth to surf the Show. “It means when I come by to talk to someone knowledgeable, they aren’t there. The Show is too big and too busy, so chances are I’m not coming back.”
Learn more about the PR opportunities at the SEMA Show.
Visit the SEMA Show website to learn more about the New Products Showcase and to fill out an application to display your products.